After all the back and forth that has gone on, in the end might they all just get along and work together?
What They Say:
Episode 11: The Samurai from France
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Samurai Girls has moved firmly into the end story arc, at least for this chapter of the show, and it's something of a difficult beast. It's spent its time being dark and fluffy at the same time with the girls and how Muneakira makes them into master samurai. With the full on arrival of Yoshihiko and his plan to create controlled master samurai of his own, in a sense portraying him as the real savior of Japan and not the great shadow that has been threatening the nation, it's become a little less defined. While Yoshihiko may see himself as a savior, the others don't and want to try and work with him. That's not going to happen and it's amusing to see Jubei simply go feudal on his ass with an outright aggressive attack on him.
Yoshihiko's inhumanity does shine through in the end, even if you agree with his basic premise and ideas. He sees the master samurai's he's been creating as little more than tools, even if they do have feelings like Nia fully expresses in her own controlled way. It's his casual offhandedness about it all that pushes his personality over the edge though since he can't see them as anything more than creations. And that's just one step removed from what everyone else really is in that we're all just creations of two other people. This view definitely colors the flashback we see when he first met and began to sway Nia to his side as even then he saw her just as a tool to use for his ambitions.
Everything builds into a rather exciting battle sequence amongst the core characters present, but it all becomes something grander once Muneakira goes into general mode himself and becomes something even more. While he's had his moments of being beaten down by the girls over time, he hasn't been a wimpy male harem lead overall and this is another area that cements it. When he's cool and in control, it makes you wish more of the series was like that to see what kind of dynamic we'd get. With the world changing around them suddenly, having him forceful and in control with the women he's kissed by his side, standing with him, it has a great sense of power that's balanced by the emotional context that Nia and Yoshihiko bring to it. The larger storyline is becoming more apparent here via Gisen and Samurai Girls hits all the right notes here taking it to the next level.
Samurai Girls has played things big in a way from the start with Jubei falling out of the sky into Muneakira's hands. Everything gets shifted into that kind of gear with this episode, first with the verbal confrontation and then with the hands on physical side. There's some interesting emotional context thrown in, but I found that it just highlighted Yoshihiko's coldness even more, as much as I would have wished him to be a villain who wasn't quite so dark in that way. The action scenes here are much like we've seen before in that there's a coordinated disjointed nature to it at times and the whole thing goes very big, but the human context is still very much present. With Muneakira as its base, it has a lot going for it even if he is something of a cipher in a way simply because he comes across as strong throughout the series (though not all the time) and definitely when it counts, so it's not unexpected. Samurai Girls sets up a lot here for a first chapter kind of storyline and has the potential for some handsome payoff.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.